13 “When my son was a junior, we visited a college during his spring break. Three weeks before our visit, I contacted the admissions office. They arranged for us to meet with an admissions counselor at 9:00, take a walking tour at 10:00, and meet with a scholarship advisor at 1:00. Then at 3:00, we had a meeting with the coordinator of the pre- engineering programs.” “In between these appointments, we ate in the student union, visited a dorm, talked to students, and watched part of a baseball game. By the time we left, we felt like we had a good idea of what this college had to offer. On the way home, we talked about what we had heard and seen, and we made notes on the college’s positive and negative aspects.” Cheri Patton, Parent Make College Visits Making a college visit is the best way to find out if a college is going to be right for your child. To plan a formal visit, call the Admissions office or visit the college’s website to see if they have any “Visitation Days” or “Open Houses” scheduled. These programs are designed for high school students and their parents, and they’re a great way to learn about a college. If you want to visit a college on a day when there’s no specific program planned, contact the admissions office and let them know when you would like to visit. The admissions office can then arrange for a campus tour and arrange appointments. The following tips will help ensure that you and your child get the most out of your college visit. u Prepare for your visit by learning as much as you can about the college. The best way to do this is to explore the college’s website and take a “virtual tour.” u Duringyourvisit,meetwithanadmissionscounselor,andifpossible,attend a group information session. Have questions ready and take notes. When you meet with someone in the admissions office, the college knows that you’ve made the effort to visit their campus. Demonstrated interest can be a factor in the admission decision. u Take a tour, noting the cleanliness and atmosphere of the campus. Check out the library, computer labs, dorms, and recreation facilities. As you tour the campus, try to imagine your child as a student there.